Jordan Mechner Talks Prince of Persia at GDC China

Prince of Persia The Sands of Time

Gamasutra has an excellent write up of Jordan Mechner’s keynote from GDC China. The Prince of Persia creator covers a wide range of topics. One of the tidbits I found interesting was him talking about his mindset going into Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Mechner said:

You really couldn’t find a better example of what not do than the first 10 years of Prince of Persia. The franchise was like a garden that I was neglecting. By 2001 Prince of Persia was really a dead franchise — completely and totally dead.

We really felt we were underdogs, because it was a dead franchise. We really felt we had to make an original game, as if nobody had heard of it.

And take a look at the franchise now, with Jake Gyllenhaal flashing his pecs as the prince. My, we’ve come a long way.

Seriously though, The Sands of Time was an excellent game and really brought the franchise back to life. While some of its sequels were not quite as good, the whole reboot is a fine of example of how to modernize a classic franchise. Hopefully someone will reboot a franchise so that Jake’s sister will bare her chest in a movie (again).

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Housekeeping: Custom Avatars for Comments

A few of you have been wondering how avatars work in the comments section. The blog uses the Gravatar system. If you have a Gravatar account, you can use any avatar you wish. When you make a comment here, be sure to use the same email address associated with your Gravatar account. That will make it so that everyone can see your awesome customized avatar.┬áIf you don’t use Gravatar, you get some funky monster that’s based off of your IP address.

Feel free to leave a comment with your custom avatar hotness!

PSA: Xbox Live Deal of the Week — Hasbro Family Games Night

Scrabble -- Hasbro Family Games Night

This week’s Xbox Live Deal of the Week has Hasbro Family Games Night titles on sale. According the Major Nelson:

Xbox Live Gold Members can save 50% when they purchase any of the Hasbro Family Game Night games.Normally priced at 800 points, this week Battleship, Connect 4, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Boggle and Sorry Sliders are 400 points each.

Most of these games should have been 400 points to begin with, but I love me some Scrabble and recommend it.

Hey…anyone interesting in getting some round robin Scrabble going?

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Coffee Talk #1: Does Replay Value Impact Your Gaming Purchases?

Welcome to the first edition of Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the return of Barry Allen, Chris Jericho carrying the WWE for two years running, or how awesome the NY Yankees are, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Today I want to talk about replay value. It’s mentioned in practically every videogame review you see and many critics use it as a scoring factor, but does it really have a role in your purchasing decisions? For me, it’s not really an issue when it comes time to plop down cash on a new game. It’s more of an added bonus that I enjoy after I’ve beaten a game.

Final Fantasy Tactics

Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate games that have extraordinary replay value, but that’s not why I buy (or pass) on a title. I’ll pick up every game in the Final Fantasy Tactics series because I love the world of Ivalice and the gameplay style. The fact that I’ll play it for dozens of hours after I’ve beaten it isn’t the point. That said, I completely understand that I’m not a normal customer since I get to play a ton of games for free and can be picky with the ones I buy.

My question for you on this fine Monday is whether replay value impacts your purchases. Are you more likely to buy games that you can play over and over again? Will you skip on a game because it’s not really worth playing after the initial 10 to 15 hours? Or is it a case-by-case basis? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Revealed

Michael Jackson’s single “This Is It” was released through his official site. The song kicks off a series of posthumous works from the King of Pop. Coming October 26 is an album called This Is It, a This Is It movie on October 28, and a vinyl release on November 10 (guess what it’s called).

Jackson wrote and recorded several songs that he wanted released after his death. The rumor was that he wanted to beat out Tupac in posthumous sales. (Okay, I totally made that last part up.)

Let me know what you think of the song. I need to listen to it about a dozen more times before I can form an opinion. I’m sure the single will top the charts and the album will do crazy numbers, but I’ll always prefer the Off the Wall and Thriller days.

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Mass Effect 2 Coming to PS3 According to EA Russia

There has been a lot of confusion on whether Mass Effect 2 will be heading to Sony’s PlayStation 3 console. There were heavy rumors that the game would no longer be an Xbox 360 (console) exclusive, but they were never confirmed. According to EA Russia, Mass Effect 2 will be available for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 platforms.

Mass Effect 2

I’m not fluent in Sputnik, but the site clearly says PlayStation 3. I always thought the move was inevitable ever since EA acquired BioWare. Why wouldn’t the company go multiplatform? It will be interesting to see what EA and BioWare have to say about this on Monday.

Source via Joystiq via Just Push Start

Sony Online Entertainment’s John Smedley Talks Planetside Next

Planetside Logo

The sequel to Planetside is coming and it’s called…(wait for it)…Planetside Next! Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley wrote about the game on his LiveJournal. Smed said:

To me, Planetside Next means we get a chance to take the essence of everything that was fun in Planetside and make it a lot better. Massive battles on a scale no other FPS will touch. None of this 64 player stuff. REALLY MASSIVE. With much better organization, and a tight focus on making sure the action is always going on, with awesome graphics.

Damn I love Planetside. I really do.

I was never into the game, but I have a bunch of friends that swear by it. Any of you psyched for this one? Do you think Planetside Next will make an impact? Or is it an old(er) franchise that has no place in today’s gaming world? Maybe a game like MAG is the future and Planetside is the past? Or perhaps being a sequel is enough to help it succeed. So many questions! Someone answer one or more (please!).

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